SUP Pilates Series at Wake Up Docklands

In the back of my Passion Planner, I have a list for 2017 of things I wanna do, places I wanna go and experiences to have. One of them was SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) / SUP Yoga so when the opportunity to try SUP Pilates came up there was no way I could say no!

This summer will see the launch of brand new SUP Pilates classes at Wake Up Docklands in Royal Victoria Dock, London with Ruth Tongue. Ruth has been teaching Pilates for over 8 years in London and is also a qualified nutritionist who has been working in the health and fitness industry for over ten years. As a SUP Yoga fan, Ruth wanted to share an alternative for those who are less downward dog and more core-centric – SUP Pilates being the result!

I started the afternoon with the 45 minute SUP Pilates session with Ruth. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done Pilates but I am well aware of how good a workout it can be. Pilates already has a major focus on core and controlled movement so having to do this on an unstable board floating in water just increases the intensity. Lucky for us the sun was shining in all its glory for the afternoon but being so early in the season the water was still pretty chilly (especially by my standards). I loved that the class progressed our positions and even included some standing exercises leading to “burpees” on the paddleboard!

We took a much needed break after Pilates and refuelled with smoothies and snacks from C Press London before heading back into the water for a 45 minute intro to SUP technique with Jason Bergin of Urban Recovery.

Now this session was the one that really got me nervous as we were now on the boards moving into the main body of water. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been out on open water and although I’m now a “swimmer” it’s still nerve wrecking for me to be doing activities on water. We started off in a kneeling position to learn the basics of how to use the paddle to steer the board in the required direction. We then learnt how to stand up on the board in order to use the paddle fully and get the full experience. And this is where I became stuck. The wind was strong making the water a little choppy which obviously made the board more unstable. Although I did manage to stand up for a couple of short periods I definitely felt more confident in the kneeling position! I’m under the impression that the session last for two hours normally so I’m sure that I’d be much more comfortable the next time I go out on the paddleboard knowing what to expect!

If you saw any of the outtake images on Instagram stories you’ll know the different faces of fear and excitement I went through during the afternoon but all in all I thoroughly enjoyed the session and would definitely do it again. Maybe even somewhere even warmer, with blue seas…

A girl can dream, right?!

To take part in the SUP Pilates no previous experience needed at all and all you need to take with you is swimwear to go under a wetsuit (provided) if it’s not too warm or some crops / leggings and a top you don’t mind getting acquainted with the open water if it’s a little warmer along with a towel and flip flops.

The venue is easily accessed via the Emirates cable car (which was worth the trip in itself) from North Greenwich, or via DLR to Royal Victoria. It’s like a little oasis in the midst of east london!

For information on times, days and prices of the SUP Pilates classes check out Ruth’s website – www.ruthtongue.com

Have you been Stand Up Paddleboarding yet?! …done yoga or Pilates on a SUP too?! …would you try it?!

Elle 🙂

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Photo Credits: (1) (2) (3) @Dave.Barker.5891 || (4) (5) (6) were taken on my GoPro Hero 5



  1. kateworksout
    June 12, 2017 / 13:44

    Hi, Elle!It looks interesting!I'm not a very good swimmer and I'm admittedly a killjoy when it comes to water activities, but I'd be willing to try this one. I'm curious about how much different (or difficult?) pilates feels while trying to maintain balance on water.But I don't think I can do paddleboard burpee! I'll leave that to the more adventurous ones!

    • Elle Linton
      June 15, 2017 / 21:22

      hahaha! I think you'd surprise yourself with the burpees! 😉 …I guess you end up working your core a little more having to balance on the board, but the nicest thing is feeling like you're a world away from london, not confined to four walls an soaking up some vitamin d at the same time!

  2. Petra / Be Healthy Now
    June 10, 2017 / 11:04

    It sounds interesting but I would be too scared to give it a go. I am not the best swimmer!

    • Elle Linton
      June 15, 2017 / 21:21

      The Pilates is in shallow water so you'd be fine! …I'm not a confident swimmer either and for the SUP you wear a vest and you also don't have to stand up until you feel ready! 😉

  3. Amy C
    June 9, 2017 / 10:34

    I love SUP and actually bought an inflatable board so I can go whenever I want! I've done SUP yoga a couple of times, but never pilates. Burpees? That sounds intense!

    • Elle Linton
      June 15, 2017 / 21:20

      haha! the burpees weren't too bad…just stepping in and out of plank! …thats awesome re having your own board! we used inflatable ones for SUP too!

  4. Angloyankophile
    June 9, 2017 / 10:13

    I would LOVE to try this! I don't know how I'd feel about potentially falling into the water (haha) but it's something I've seen others do and have always wanted to try, so your blog post caught my eye! Glad to know where these classes are being offered.xo JaimeAngloyankophile

    • Elle Linton
      June 15, 2017 / 21:19

      The Pilates bit is in shallow water so you'd be fine! For SUP you wear a vest and you don't have to stand up until you feel confident! …it's defo a great feeling doing something that doesn't come easily! 🙂

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